They gave you everything you needed from a roof over your head to food on your plate. And while some parents are better than others, we all have one thing in common that all of our parents gave us: life.
The actual fact that we were given life – the ability to breath and physically exist on this planet – is of such incredible importance that we cannot comprehend our situation. But we do understand that there is a deep seated desire to please the ones who brought us into this world.
As humans we are constantly searching for approval, both because we want to verify we are doing the right thing and also have the emotional satisfaction of being looked upon fondly.
Animals do the same thing. Puppies imitate their mother because they have an instinctual motivation to copy what she does. The puppies are preprogrammed to copy what their mother does to learn how to survive.
Humans copy what their parents do in order to grow into a productive people. Everything from reading and writing to eating and sleeping are things that we learn from the ones we look up to – our parents.
Our parents grew up in the same environment that we did – the details are different and unimportant – but the process of growing under the mentorship of a leader are exactly the same.
Every generation of mother and fathers sacrifice their lives in one way or another to provide a lifestyle for their children to prosper in; and it’s the responsibility of the child to fulfill the obligation of growing into a productive person.
When a father sees his son maturing into a young man, he wants him to become successful in all walks of life. One of the biggest satisfactions for a father is to see their son obtain a job in the field that their father worked in. Not only does it prove to the father that he raised his boy correctly, but it also vindicates his father’s choice as a career.
The same applies for a mother and daughter. Most mothers want nothing more than for their daughter to have a baby. Socially correct or not, that’s the reality. Mothers have children that eventually leave the nest, and then they want grandchildren to fulfill their dream of continuing a family lineage.
All of that sounds nice – sons and daughters fulfilling the dreams of their parents by achieving the same benchmarks in employment and family status. But it’s just that: fulfilling the dreams of their parents.
There is nothing wrong with following the same track and achieving the same accomplishments, but what achievement is there in that?
Is walking down a path that has been manicured to easily navigate as much of an accomplishment as trailblazing your own destination?
Should you simply fulfill the lifestyle that has been carbon copied from your mother and father?
Your parents, your grandparents and every relative that has ever lived, and in turn given you life, made massive sacrifices to provide a brighter future for the generations that would come after them. Some fought in wars, some sailed to new countries, some survived disease and others just worked their butts off – and they all had the same goal in common: to make a better future for their children.
Now, is simply copying the life that your parents gave you good enough?
All the life tools you have been given are not to be used to replicate a life already known. Those tools are to be used to construct a new and better foundation for the generation that comes after you.
The ethics you have been taught, the information you have learned and the dreams that you have been inspired with are the foundations that have been given to you to expand upon – not simply exist with.
You must use everything you have, that so many people before you sacrificed for, to continue your journey of creating greatness in life.
It doesn’t matter what you are creating and achieving, it just matters that you are continuing in an upward, productive direction. It matters that you are using the tools that were given to you, while discovering new techniques and methods to create a mountain of wealth that you can pass on to your offspring.
This wealth is measured in the amount of happiness, in the amount of satisfaction, in the amount of productivity and to a lesser extent, the amount of monetary assets. Each generation after the one before should be able to inherit a given amount of wealth that they can compound upon to pass on to the next. It’s the responsible thing to do; it’s a way of passing on value.
But it’s also a way to provide satisfaction within your life. No matter how much wealth you may have been given, there is no way to enjoy it unless you are creating an equal amount. It’s the theory of enjoying the fruits of your labor – nothing tastes as sweet as the bounty you have produced.
That is why it is so important to not follow what your parents have done. Everything that was done by the people who raised you was simply to position you in a situation where you can expand. Where you can grow and learn and succeed.
That does not mean repeat, copy or duplicate the process which was created by your mother and father. The path that your guardians took to allow you the life you have is simply one method to get from point A to Z. Their path was created by them and should not be traveled over again. The journey they took was important and successful, but only for them.
You are on a different journey that involves different challenges, different variables and different goals.
So, to repeat what your parents did would be a cop-out – the easy way out.
The ultimate way to impress your parents is to take what they gave you and capitalize on every opportunity that they allowed you to achieve.
In the words of Ayn Rand, “The ladder of success is best climbed by stepping on the rungs of opportunity.”